After a loss to Melbourne they’d rather forget, Brisbane face a big task when they come up against the Western Bulldogs at the Gabba this Thursday night.
The Bulldogs have won five of their last six games and are one of the most in-form teams in the competition, while the Lions will be looking to rectify inconsistent form with a statement win on their home deck.
Last Time We Met
Last time these two sides played for premiership points, it was a one-point thriller at the Gabba, as the Bulldogs narrowly overran the Lions in a semi-final.
Bailey Smith was the hero for the visitors, icing the game with a remarkable goal from the pocket to end Brisbane’s 2021 season.
Smith finished the game with 27 touches, three goals and 548 metres gained and was a real barometer for the Bulldogs.
A nasty head cut to Lion, Jack Payne ended his night early, while both Ryan Lester and Zac Bailey’s clutch goals kept Brisbane’s hopes alive, while Hugh McCluggage and Lachie Neale led the way in the middle with 28 disposals each.
However, Brisbane learnt their lesson and were victors earlier in the year, beating the Bulldogs by a goal at Marvel Stadium in the AAMI Community Series.
If their last two encounters are a sign of things to come on Thursday night, expect a tight game!
Zac Bailey vs Jack Macrae
Zac Bailey is a welcome return to the Lions 22, having missed last weeks clash under AFL Health and Safety Protocols.
Brisbane will be hoping his impact will be felt immediately, having missed his injection of speed and X-Factor in their Round 15 loss to Melbourne.
At his best, Bailey can damage opposition teams with his burst from stoppage and craft around goal. However, his opponent in Jack Macrae can be equally as damaging.
Macrae recently became one of only six players to play 100 games or more with 30+ disposals.
The 27-year-old is averaging 31.9 disposals at 78.1% efficiency with 5.4 inside 50s a game. Shutting his influence down will be crucial for the Lions.
It’s a Big Week for…
Having had a baptism of fire in his debut last week against Melbourne, Jimmy Tunstill has been given another chance to prove himself in Thursday clash.
A beautiful kick with a big engine and the ability to hit the scoreboard, Tunstill will be looking to bounce back from a quiet debut and showcase his skill for the home crowd.